David Patrick Columbia's New York Social Diary

14 December 2011

First Responders

The Morris Animal Foundation hosted the “Leading the Way” Inaugural Gala on Thursday, December 8th, 2011 at a private club in New York City. The event, chaired by Kate Edmonds DonnerDavid HaworthBarbara Regna and Jean Shafiroff, featured cocktails followed by a three-course dinner and dancing. A friendly parrot named Señor was in attendance welcoming guests into the cocktail hour.

The ballroom doors opened to an exotic safari of animal silhouettes, banana leaves and orchids. A sea of leopard dresses and animal print ties filled the dance floor as Alex Donner and his Orchestra played animal melodies while donning various masks. Father Richard gave a benediction for the animals, which set the mood for a fabulous night in honor of our furry friends.

The inaugural gala honored Dr. Philip J. Bergman DVM, MS, PhD, an innovative scientist on the forefront of veterinary medical research. Dr. Bergman is a board- certified veterinary oncologist who is the Principal Investigator of the first melanoma cancer vaccine approved in veterinary patients.

Morris Animal Foundation, founded in 1948 by a visionary entrepreneur and veterinarian Dr. Mark Morris, is the largest nonprofit organization that funds research to protect, treat and cure animals worldwide. It is leading the way by championing groundbreaking research studies that benefit companion animals and wildlife in more than 100 countries on all seven continents. Its top notch research has funded studies to find treatments and cure even the most complex diseases.

Notable attendees included; Dr. Philip J. Bergman DVM, MS, PhD, Sharon Bush, Geoffrey Bradfield, Alex Donner, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph W. Donner,Vicki Downey, Katlean De Monchy, Kate Edmonds Donner, Lucia Wong Gordon, Dr. David Haworth, DVM, PhD, President and CEO of Morris Animal Foundation, Chiu-Ti Jansen, Edward Johnston, Alison Minton, Ann Rapp, Barbara and Peter Regna, Ashe Reardon, Hope Auchincloss Whipple, Michael Kempner, Lawrence and Helen Remmel, Jean and Martin Shafiroff, Jackie Shafiroff, Elizabeth Shafiroff, Guy Robinson and Elizabeth Stribling.

For more information about the Morris Animal Foundation, visit

Jason Grant and Alison Minton